This article reviews the fish fauna of Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and largest lake in volume. The nucleus of the fish fauna of Lake Baikal is a unique complex of endemic cottoid fishes (56% of the total number of species and 41% of the total number of genera) and endemic species and subspecies of the coregonid and thymallid families. Abundance and composition of the fish fauna have changed during the 20th Century in each of the three main parts of the lake: north, central and south. Historical and present environmental conditions, such as main habitats, water quality and anthropogenic impacts, are discussed. Key objectives of fishery management on Lake Baikal include: (i) protection of fishes, especially commercial species, during periods of preparation for spawning, on spawning runs and in spawning areas; (ii) progressive restriction of the industrial fisheries and rapid expansion of sports and recreational fisheries; (iii) reallocation of priorities in the artificial breeding of fishes to restore the natural population structure of Omul and to restore the abundance of other valuable species that are important for sport fishing; (iv) prevention of the introduction into the Baikal basin of any new non-indigenous fish species; (v) conservation of habitats used by different ecological groups of fishes.

You do not currently have access to this content.